Serving Northwest Indiana and Northern Illinois, the Heartland Blood Center is a nonprofit and independent blood donation center with various centers situated in DeKalb, Elgin, Joliet, Crystal Lake, Tinley Park, Bloomingdale, Naperville, Crystal Lake, Aurora, Yorkville in Illinois among others. Heartland has mobile blood drives that individuals can donate blood from. Walk-in blood donations and appointment donations are always welcomed at any of the facilities, and they partnered with businesses, churches, and community groups to have blood drives seven days of the week.
Who’s suitable for a blood donation?
Before one undertakes a blood donation, they must meet eligibility criteria determined by American Association of Blood Banks and US Food & Drug Administration. Some of the general eligibility requirements include:
- Individuals must be of good health and a sound mind.
- The donor must provide valid photo identification.
- Donors should be 17 years and above with the exception 16-year old individuals having approval from parents or guardians.
- Donors should at least be 110 pounds and above.
Factors that disqualify donor candidates
Some of the temporary factors that might preclude you include:
- Temporary sore throats, fevers, persistent coughs and even chest congestions.
- Individuals taking some medications as a result of certain medical conditions.
- Donors with donor-specific diseases contracted from touring different countries.
- People with medical conditions such as lung or heart disease, some cancers, chronic liver, various blood diseases, hepatitis, and epilepsies.
Blood donation types
Blood donation is divided into four types as different kinds of donations have different uses. These types include whole blood donation which is where the blood consists of three components namely the red blood cells, platelets, and plasma. The double red cell donation is another type of donation which is usually used for blood transfusion in surgeries.
Platelet donation is somehow similar to the red cell donation where the Heartland Blood Center uses the latest technology to separate platelets from the donor’s blood during the donation. Plasma donation is one of the rare blood donations as AB donors make up for only 4% of the population thus making it hard for it to happen often.
The different blood types of various individuals play a significant role in the blood donation realm. Whatever type of blood you have, it plays an important role in the saving of lives. You might find you’re a rare blood donor once you donate blood for the first time. Having a rare type of blood means that you might be one of the few hopes of individuals in need of such a blood type as your blood isn’t worst or better.
The types of blood that human beings have are divided into categories from O-, O+, A-, A+, B-, B+, AB- and AB+. The presence or absence of markers or antigens on the red blood cells surface will determine the blood type you have. The presence of minus or plus sign after A, B, and O shows whether there are Rh antigens on the red blood cells surface or not.
Heartland Blood Center hosted blood drives
Blood drives ensure that the local hospital blood demands are catered for. That’s why Heartland Blood Center has collaborated with community organizations, congregations and different company sizes to have blood drives each year. Blood drives are a powerful yet simple way giving back to the community.
Some of the blood drive options that Heartland Blood Center offers include indoor mobile blood drives which have a gymnasium or conference room setting with ample lighting, furniture, restrooms, and electrical outlets and so on. Heartland will send their medical team to meet your volunteers and the donors on site.
Mobile coach drives comprise of outdoor parking locations using one of Heartland’s donor coaches and also some indoor activities like registration. The coach will come accompanied with the medical professionals to make the blood donations.
Blood Center Co-sponsored drives involve you working with one of Heartland’s account representatives to choose one of their blood centers where a team of medical professionals will welcome the donors whether it’s from your company, school or even church.
The donation process
The donation process at Heartland Blood Center is an easy and straightforward one. The whole process takes about an hour to get completed.
First, the donor registration gets carried out where basic information gets collected, and critical reading materials get provided regarding the donation process.
Secondly, a Mini-physical and screening gets done to know your health history and determines your eligibility. The medical professional will also do brief checks on your blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and iron level to ensure you’re safe to make the donation.
Step three is the actual blood donation where the Heartland Blood Center professional will get you settled in a comfy chair, clean your arm using an antiseptic and use a new sterile kit to draw the blood. Automated donations might require longer time while whole blood donations might take under 10 minutes to get done.
Step four is getting rest after the donation and having some refreshments to get some of your energy back at the exercise. It’s advised you should take lots of fluids in the first 24 hours after the donation. Strenuous activities or exercises should be avoided for a day or two until you feel you’re back to normal strength.